Saturday, March 16, 2013

My favourite things

Latest list of the things I'm loving about being a mum at the moment.

No more nappies! No change table, cot or double pram either. And the stroller is gone, although when I see other parents easily wheeling around their tired pre-schoolers, I am a tad envious.

While rather eloquent for their age, it's still cute to hear all the words they mis-pronounce.
"Kwerly" = curly, "flamingo" = flamenco, "newdle" = noodle, "pewdle" = poodle etc etc.

Anything they say in French is twice as cute. Animals such as "Le re-no-se-ros" or "lipo-pot-arm" are especially sweet.

Sharing a double bed often means extra giggles and silliness before sleep, but also means they snuggle up together and look so angelic all intertwined. Which brings us to....

...musical beds. Goes something like this: Little sis sneaks into our room during the night, water bottle in hand. Climbs into bed between mum and dad. Spreads out like a starfish. Big sis quietly whimpers alone in her room. Little sis wakes dad, advises him that big sis is lonely. Dad trudges in to comfort big sis. Mum awakes next morning, squished on the very edge of the bed. Dad is found snoring next to big sis. Big sis hasn't slept a wink due to snoring. Little sis is sleeping soundly in the big bed.

They think families with 2 mums or 2 dads are quite normal. That 2 men or 2 women wanting to marry is blase. So is having sisters that have a different mum. They get that some men like to dress up as women, that all gay people are not drag queens but "are all drag queens gay?" they wonder. God bless Mardi Gras.

Miss 6 is still in love with her special teddy, Chocolate the Bear. A thoughtful gift from a friend when her baby sister was born, they are inseparable. Which gives me night sweats since he is apparently unique and a replacement is not available anywhere, for love nor money.

Miss 4 is a homebody. Seriously. If I'm cooking she wants up on the bench to help, wash, chop, arrange, stir. She often asks to dust or sweep the floor. Ditto for folding and putting away clothes. (I must have done something right!!)

Miss 6 has amazingly neat hand-writing (from dad), can draw a princess/mermaid in heartbeat, is great at packing up after herself and looking after her little sis.

Miss 4 often refuses to write though she can, thinks swirly scribbles are sufficient for artistic endeavours, would rather watch big sis pack up and thinks she doesn't need much looking after, thank you very much.

Miss 6 has incredibly thick hair that grows like weeds (thanks to both grandmas). Miss 4 has whispery, curly hair that never seems to grow past a bob (thanks mum). Both have natural highlights I would kill for.

Miss 6 is all limbs, wiry and coltish. I see her rock climbing, running and hanging off monkey bars. Miss 4 is all limber, flexible and cuddly. I see her doing gymnastics, yoga and belly dancing.

Miss 6 is a fashionista and loves matching her hair accessories to her outfit. Miss 4 always seems to have stains on her clothes and sand in her shoes.

They are becoming gourmands thanks to an obsession with My Kitchen Rules. If they ever request coconut sago, braised ox or whole fish in salt dough, I'm outta here. (And how devastated are they that neither can remember Pete Evans used to bring his girls for swimming lessons at the same pool.)

Miss 6 is on a mission to taste any animal that's edible. Snails, check. Raw fish, check. Crab, check. Squid, check. Still to come are venison, lobster and squab!

Miss 4 will eat an entire avocado in one sitting. Just cut in half, remove the seed and let her scoop.

I love that they still call me "mamma", still answer to "bubba" and their favourite man is still "dadda".

Seeing my darling girl go under general anesthetic and wake up from surgery all startled is one of the hardest moments I've ever had. Being strong for her so she wouldn't be too scared is one of my proudest.

Telling them I am going back to work full-time soon was another hard moment. Seeing how happy and proud they were for me when I got the job was one of the best.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The lovely list

Another year, another list of things I'm loving about my girls:

"Pesto Pestering" - yes they actually love pesto pasta and pester me to make it whenever they spot herbs that vaguely resemble basil.

"Yum, My Favourite" - mushrooms are my little one's favourite food apparently. The big one prefers capsicum. Both are very happy to eat veges and fruit and I'm not complaining.

"Let's Be Matching" - the 4yo is fashion stylist for the 3yo and often insists on wearing the same dress as her little sis. Good thing too since I am a lover of kids fashion and often buy the same clothes in a few sizes!

"Just Like Caillou" - who knew a bald French-Canadian cartoon character would be so inspirational? Caillou is responsible for us planting carrots, cutting out paper snowflakes, visiting the dentist, lines such as "aye, aye Capper", an appreciation for leaf jumping and begging to toast marshmallows when we go camping (not very likely).

"Look, a Mistake" - spotting errors and inconsistencies in their fav shows/movies is a new past-time thanks to dad.

"I'm Floppy" - now it's mum who craves a siesta since they both do not like napping no matter how "floppy" they are. Luckily long drives in the car after functions often result in refreshing catnap for all (except dad).

"Zumba, Zumba, Zumba" - they reluctantly let me attend an evening Zumba class once a week but happily fetch my zumba shoes (joggers) and chant "zumba, zumba, zumba" (a la conga style) to see me off.

"Tiffany Blue" - they think any shade of turquoise is called 'Tiffany blue' and will nicely match all the Tiffany/Paris decor in their room. Proudly and entirely my fault.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Down(sizing) but not out

Let's set the scene: It's September, close to the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The stock markets are tragic, Europe is a basketcase, the UK is looting itself, Obama can't get congress to wipe their bottoms and Julia Gillard's personal life is the subject of TV satire. The Aussie dollar, banana prices and drive-by shootings are up while interest rates and morale are low. My highly qualified, high flying husband has been on 'gardening leave' (aka 'out of work') for about 3 months. I am still a full-time mum hoping like hell not to go back to paid work yet. My daughters are enrolled in a lovely non-denominational/co-educational/private school and I would like it to stay that way. It's wet and gloomy outside. And today said husband is out negotiating with snake oil dealers, flogging off the family silver (car that is)!

Welcome to down-sizing 2011 style. With great foresight we had long ago moved from the large suburban home to the smaller, more practical apartment. With no job in the city to drive to, the expensive car space and second car had to go obviously. The collection of strangely shaped gold coins and other Perth Mint specials have been sold off while gold is riding high. Stocks that survived various crashes were also liquidated. So with some cash reserves, shrewd investments and no mortgage we're in good shape for a while hopefully. But as I eye the budget spreadsheet my financially savvy hubby waves in front of me there is one item that makes me hold my breath....

I can understand we won't really need before/after school care, those extra kid's activities or annual overseas holidays. I can live with eating out less and buying cheaper cuts of meat. My kids will survive eating fruit that's in season (although bananas must be purchased at any cost apparently). They will also not mind seeing less musicals/plays/puppet shows and more of mum and dad.

But there is one 'luxury' that will be last on the financial chopping block: I swear I will eat 2-minute noodles for a year before I damn well let the cleaner go!!

Call me crazy but only other clean freaks can understand the pure joy of entering a professionally cleaned abode. Those sparkling tiles are worth a thousand nights in front of the TV, the gleaming kitchen a fair swap for any 3-hat restaurant meal, the polished floors more valuable than a designer handbag. Who needs new boots when the carpets are immaculate or theatre tickets when the bedroom has been primped and primed to perfection?

And I am not alone...I mentioned this rebellion against prudence to my between-gigs-actor-friend who looked at me with huge, swelling eyes. She had recently sacrificed her cleaner and was in the throes of down-sizers remorse. "What have we done? How will I cope?" she pined. "There, there, it will be all be ok" I said, not quite sure of the truth of my assurance. "I can always hire a cheaper cleaner...or maybe they can come less often...?" she reasoned hopefully. Of course dear, of course. Just because we're poor doesn't mean we have to live like savages after all!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day Off

Apparently because the girls have two mutual days of pre-school/daycare, these are now deemed as my "day off". Conjures up images of long lunches, pedicures and lazing on the beach, right? I wish! Yes I do use these days to book appointments with the hairdresser (and the dentist). But yesterday was a much more typical day off and here was my to-do list (brace yourself):

Feed kids, dress kids, make beds, drop off kids, pick up parcels from post office, pick up new lights from lighting store, buy birthday cards, gym, supermarket, pack away groceries, shower, lunch, check email and facebook, do laundry, call electrician, pick up kids, entertain kids, (be nice to husband), cook dinner, wash dishes, bathe kids, comfort crying kids, stories, cuddles, settle kids to sleep, pay bills, fill out tax form, upload digital photos, sort birthday card book, start packing, TV, (be annoyed by husband), bed.

I'm so lucky to not be "working" anymore!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Two over 2

My baby is no longer a baby. She turned 2 last week and is an official, card carrying member of the toddler club. Slowly but surely the symbols and rituals of babyhood are falling by the wayside. Breastfeeding is a distant memory since detaching herself just after her 1st birthday. Swaddles and muslin wraps sit unused in the cupboard. Baby clothes lovingly washed and folded have found their way to grateful new mothers. Toys she outgrows are donated to the charity shop or daycare centre. Soon the cot and pram will follow suit I suppose. When did this all happen?? Stop the world I want my baby back!

I blinked and now have a walking, talking bundle of happiness and mischief. She can do so much on her own but she still needs her mummy around. And as I will enjoy reminding her, she will always be my baby.

(The nappies and dummies are still around too so I'm not out of the woods yet - hooray)!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nanna Naps

I think I am fast approaching another end of an era - my oldest has started dropping her midday naps. OK, so I've been lucky enough to drag it out past the age of 3 and a half. But that moment of bliss when both babes are quietly sleeping in their beds, nobody else is home and nobody dares ring on the phone is too divine. She throws me a bone every now and then and retreats to her bed after swiming lessons or after a vigourous few days at pre-school. Or humours me when I tell her I need to cuddle up together and have a nap too. But the writing is on the wall. Soon she will just roll her eyes, put her hands on her hips and protest that naps are for babies and she's a big girl. And as much as I love watching her grow I will so miss my little piece of quiet in the middle of the day. Perhaps I can still sneak in a nanna nap every now and then though!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Incy wincy and other tall tales

If my daughter grows up with a morbid fear of spiders it will be my fault entirely. Recently discovered that the only way I can get her to settle to sleep, when all else fails of course,  is the line "Incy Wincy spider will come and bite your bottom if you don't go to sleep"! Poor baby looks up at me pleadingly then rolls over, closes her eyes and quietly falls asleep. OK, no mother-of-the-year awards for me at the moment but honestly, what's a mum to do at 10pm?

Then I thought of all the other tales I end up telling my kids: "the dummy fairy will bring you a doll's house when you stop using a dummy", "I will leave you at home alone and go out by myself if you don't put on your shoes NOW", "three more bites will make your hair long and pretty" and my favourite, "I will spank your daddy if he doesn't put you into bed after the next story".

Pinocchio has nothing on me...